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5 reasons you need to visit George Street, Edinburgh

Leigh-Ann Pow checks her credit card balance and sets out to stroll one of the Scottish capital’s most stylish streets.

Bookended by Charlotte Square at one end and St Andrews Square at the other, Edinburgh’s George Street is lined with the type of gracious Georgian architectural gems that the Scottish capital is so well known for.

 

Situated in the city’s New Town, the term is relative: the confection of grand townhouses, imposing bank buildings and wide squares were created from 1767 to the 1830s to ease the overcrowding in the Old Town, the ancient warren of tenements and closes crowding The Royal Mile.

 

Nowadays these buildings house some of the Scottish capital’s most desirable boutiques, restaurants, bars and hotels.

 

1. Having replaced a collection of dreadfully uninspiring 1960s and ’70s office blocks and a depressing bus station, Harvey Nichols department store is a soaring piece of modern architecture that reflects and enhances the historic architecture that surrounds it.

Inside it’s a fashionista’s dream come true, with every designer brand imaginable available for the taking.

The Forth Floor Window Bar is also one of the hottest places in town to meet for a drink and soak up the view across Edinburgh to the Firth of Forth.

 

2. Cruise has been catering to the cutting-edge fashion needs of the city’s bright young things for well over 30 years, and was a style oasis back in the days before the likes of Harvey Nics moved into town.

Its longevity comes from its brilliantly curated collection of designer names (which after starting in menswear now includes women’s and kids’ fashions) including the likes of Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana and Saint Laurent.

 

3. Open since 1866, and by appointment to the Queen no less, Hamilton & Inches is a glory box of pretty shiny things.

Generations of Scottish girls have dreamt of picking out engagement rings here; if you aren’t in the market for one, content yourself with window shopping.

 

4. At number 7 Charlotte Square, The Georgian House was completed in 1796 for the Clan Lamont chief.

Now beautifully restored to reflect a typical New Town house in the late 18th and early 19th century, it gives an irresistible glimpse into the day-to-day life of Edinburgh’s great and good at this time.

 

5. With its entrance flanked by hulking Corinthian columns, The Dome is a breathtaking proposition to behold, and that’s before you even get a glimpse of the stained-glass dome at its heart.

The former bank building is the go-to place for locals to meet friends and family, and impress out-of-towners, with everything from coffee and cake, to lunch or dinner and drinks on the menu.

The Georgian Tea Room is one of the best places in town for afternoon tea.

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This article appeared in issue 28

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